[this is the same Bishop Jenky whom John Allen quotes regarding the Notre Dame fiasco: >>>>church-run schools “should never choose between being excellent or being Catholic.” Our Catholic tradition, he said, is “so profound, so wide and so self-confident in its exploration of truth that it can dare to ask questions and promote dialogue.”<<<<]
I know most of you don't see the connection between 'modern liturgical experts' and 'pro-choice catholicism'. But believe me, it exists. A luke-warm posture when approaching Jesus promotes a luke-warm approach to Jesus in general. If you want to be really 'pro-life' then kneel for the Lord of life!
>>>>PEORIA — Harry Williams, a regular attendee of the weekday noon Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, prefers during Holy Communion to receive the Sacred Host on the top of his tongue.
"No big deal. Just a personal preference," [this shoulder shrugging attitude is what I don't understand. 'personal preference'? Like there is no reason behind it? no reality? no history? no meaning? Is religion also just a 'personal preference'? Mr. Williams, I know you don't want to say anything against your bishop. In such cases, instead of selling truth short-- try to remember what Sir Thomas More did in 'a Man for All Seasons' and just don't say anything!] the Peoria resident said after services Wednesday.
But this week he's had no choice. Bishop Daniel Jenky has directed pastors and chaplains of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria to alter traditional Communion practices because of the swine flu outbreak. The directives include suspending distribution of the Sacred Host wafer on the tongue - it may still be delivered hand to hand from priest to parishioner - and suspending distribution of wine, or Precious Blood, entirely until the threat has passed.
The Illinois State Department of Health had confirmed 225 cases of swine flu in the state by Wednesday, including one in Knox County. Medical experts say the spread of the illness can be slowed by people following basic hygiene including: covering one's nose and mouth when sneezing, not sharing food utensils or drinking vessels, frequently washing hands with soap and water, staying home when sick and avoiding close contact with sick people.
"While avoiding any semblance of panic, pastors and chaplains, especially those who minister to the young, aged or infirmed, should also pay close attention as this situation develops," Jenky wrote in a letter dated April 30. "If necessary, the Office of Catholic Schools or other departments of the Curia may take other initiatives to guarantee the health of the faithful and to cooperate with civil authorities."
The letter was an update from a previous statement from the diocese.
Along with tweaking Communion practices, Jenky directed parish priests to recommend to parishioners that they greet those around them with a nod of the head or a smile during the sign of peace, not a handshake or hug.
Also, that "pastors should take every precaution to guarantee that ministers of Holy Communion wash their hands before the communion rite and all vessels should be properly sanitized after ritual purification," Jenky wrote. ['properly sanitized'! here is a bishop who has forgotten what and who he is. He apparently always wanted to be a nurse and now's his chance!]
The changes at Sacred Heart's noon Mass on Wednesday were so subtle [Genesis 3: 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made.] And as to almost go unnoticed. No wine [this article is apparently written by a confused Catholic]was offered at Communion and all Sacred Host wafers were delivered hand to hand. Introducing the sign of peace, Father Aquinas did ask his parishioners to offer with a "nod or a smile a sign of peace," although many in attendance shook the hands of others.
"I didn't know or notice that directives had been made," said Phillip Maxwell, another weekday Sacred Heart regular. "I understand it though. I don't think it's an overreaction. The bishop is the leader of the church here and he is responsible for the protection of his parishioners on matters like this." [what about on matters like 'the salvation of souls'?]
One local parish priest, who didn't want to be identified by name or church because he was not authorized by the diocese to speak to the press on the matter, did say the directives were an overreaction - but in a positive way.
"This is the time to overreact," he said. "The directives will back down after this passes, but in the meantime it is a wake-up call. These are all good practices for all the time that the bishop has directed for the safety of the people."
The important thing for Sacred Heart parishioner Williams was that the slight[there's that 'liturgy's no big deal' editorializing on the part of the writer ] changes did not alter the experience he seeks when attending Mass.
"To us Catholics, we're still receiving Jesus, (the changes are not) going to keep me away from Mass," Williams said.
Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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